President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has expressed his definitive stance against granting pardon to individuals accused, charged, or convicted of child sexual abuse. This announcement came through a post on X, sparked by public discontent following the release of a man previously arrested for sexually abusing his granddaughter in Veymandoo, Thaa Atoll.

Highlighting the government’s directive, President Muizzu disclosed that the Prosecutor General has been instructed to immediately appeal court decisions that result in the release of individuals arrested on charges related to child sexual abuse. “Granting clemency or releasing those arrested or convicted of child sexual abuse is simply unacceptable,” he asserted, urging public unity against such crimes.

The controversy stems from an incident last year involving a 69-year-old man accused of sexually abusing his 13-year-old granddaughter. Despite the ongoing trial, the man was released on conditional bail by the Veymandoo Magistrate Court, a move that has now been challenged by the Prosecutor General’s Office with an appeal set for filing.

The community’s reaction was one of widespread indignation, voiced strongly on social media platforms, especially considering the victim had reported the abuse to her teacher and mother, stating it occurred multiple times.

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem remarked on the swift and judicious actions taken by appellate courts in cases involving pardons or leniency towards suspects or convicts of child sexual offenses. 

Echoing President Muizzu’s sentiments, Shameem emphasised the unacceptability of leniency towards child sex offenders and mentioned the government’s prompt instructions to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) to appeal such court decisions. He assured that the appellate courts are effectively addressing these appeals, underlining the priority assigned by the government.